22 October, 2017

A Response To “The need to legalize Under Age Marriage”

By Bruce Tamilson

Bruce Tamilson, MD

A country’s secular law comes first and it is good for the country. If someone does not agree this should go and fight for non-Muslims rights in Saudi Arabia. If you do that, you know the consequences and reality. I do not have to explain the ways of punishment. A democratic country gives you the Freedom of speech. It is our responsibility to not to abuse it by spreading hatreds.  Every country has their own law, it is important to respect and obey them.

Under the heading of “legalizing underage marriage”, a male author talking about primarily the marriage of underage girls, not boys. Why? The mindset of Stone Age is the answer. Women are equal in democratic world. Now the old tricks will not work with educated women.

Who are fighting for the rights of women and children?

People who were denied of equal life will seek the rights. There will be people who are discriminated, abused, experienced violence and witnessed violence. They are obviously from LGBT or divorced or single women. It is not something to be surprised. An intelligent individual need to analyze, why those groups are become activist. Instead of mocking, it needs a root cause analysis and requires a solution.

Are west and Sri Lanka persistently attacking Islamic values?

Some People live in a world of fantasy. Some people take the keyboard warrior’s argument as a countries policy. It is ludicrous.  In ancient time, incest relationship was allowed in Christianity and homosexuality was prohibited. The western worlds see the incest as disgusting and illegal now. At the same time, it legalizes and support homosexuality. The western world do adjust the religious believes according to current world. Presenting them as crusaders and attacking the Islam is utterly non-sense.

People like to follow western values, because they do not stick with Stone Age ideas. They do research and studies before making changes. They do learn from mistakes and correct themselves. It is not wrong to follow the idea of developed nations in order to develop. You are happy to enjoy the technology, western medicine, scientific invention from West but you would like to see them as enemies. This attitude does not make sense.

Ability to have sex means ready for marriage?

Because an infant has legs, you cannot expect him or her to walk as soon as it is born. Similarly, The ability of having sex does not make fitness to marriage. Marriage is a big commitment. In marriage, sex is a small portion. A mother and father have lot of responsibility socially, financially, morally and physically. How can you expect a child to bring up another child?  There will not be any good upbringing. Underages do not have the mental and financial stability to run a healthy family. When young people get marry they believe sex is the prime part of life or they marry because of family preference. An adult only can understand, apart from sex, a married life is something challenging and rewarding.

If you ask a child what you want to do, they will say they want to play game 24/7. Will you let your child do that? Certainly, NO. They do not have the experience and knowledge to make the decision. If the child does not have the capacity to make decision and the parents choose someone to marry, even though the child agrees, it should be considered as forced marriage. If your daughter wants to suicide, will you say that no world have power to stop. It is parental and public responsibility to prevent from harm.

Role of contraception and abortion

Two or three decade ago, the contraception did not exist. Therefore, not only the Islamic but also other ethnic groups had several children in young age. It does not mean they all had good quality of life. It is fact that there were many peri-natal deaths and newborn deaths occurred. You can ask the stories of many grannies who expulsed the womb [prolapse] with last child. 

Nowadays, contraception is available.  Using a contraception is not an abortion.

Some religions may find the abortion as killing a life. But the contraception is preventing the unwanted creation of life, not killing.  Contraception has many methods; one of them is sexual abstinence. Will you preach sexual abstinence as sin? Some preachers say contraception is against Islam. The holy book of Islam never mentioned about contraception. Obviously, no chance for it, as contraception was invented recently.

Religious leaders may manipulate the scripts to increase the population. But what is the point, if we do not have enough facility for all.  The quantity of children is inversely proportional to the quality of life and upbringing, regardless of wealth status. Particularly, in the modern world, both parents have to work. In this case, it will be harder to bring up many children with good quality of life. For the sake of argument, picking a super rich as example and justifying the thoughts is irrational. We need to talk about ordinary people.

Prostitution is better than child abuse, domestic violence and discrimination

Prostitution is not moral for many, because it is not your tradition and you could not tolerate it. What about those, who have the tradition of prostitution. Where is your tolerance toward them? I personally do not support prostitution but I do not take it as significant issue as long as both consented and harmless to the public.

In comparison to prostitution, child abuse, abusing women and domestic violence are more evil issues. We should do everything to stop them first. We need to save the suffering women and children from violence.

Multiple partners is acceptable in Islam

Islam allows a man to marry seven wives, but why a rich woman cannot marry seven husbands. If a man marries seven wives, you could accept it as normal, but your mind finds it difficult to digest a girl having sex with many boys. Please do not say that they can enjoy if they are legally married. The point is having sexual relationship with multiple partners, not who and how.

As long as someone does not break the country’s law and does not harm others or self, it is absolutely fine to do anything. You are judging a woman as bad when she had to change partner. But you expect the law to not to judge regarding the protection of chid. It is contradicting your view.

Clothing is matter

In Middle East countries, western women cannot dress freely because of Islamic rules. Fair enough, we all agree and obey. Nobody fight for the rights of other religion in Saudi Arabia. In western world, they do allow and accept all the religious beliefs. We need to acknowledge the generosity and equal rights given by west. Which Arab country gives citizenship to Asian Muslim in any categories? None. You have no comment about it but you complain the western world.

Some western countries do not allow full-face covering. It is fair morally and for the security. Islam does not mandate to wear face cover. Before this issue, in western countries, people cannot enter with helmet or face mask into certain premises. This is not about Islam. It is about society. No body wants to socialize with someone who refuses to expose their face identity. No western country restrict headscarf, it is Saudi-Arabia, which force others to wear scarf.

When you find hard to digest of others tradition, habits, clothing and believes, you are losing your rights to be not criticized. You need to develop tolerance toward others.

Does Pre –marriage sex matter?

No body welcome child sex and multiple partnerships. But if minors do, we cannot prevent the nature of desire. We need to teach them to be safe and to prevent teenage pregnancy. This is why we need sex education in schools.

If a child had sex, it is unacceptable to push them into a family life in their childhood.  We need to give them time to complete the education and to secure a job.  It is matter, when an adult sexually abuses a child. People who have sex with same age group do not regret and it does not affect their life. Children who are abused by adults will suffer from mental illness and guilt feeling in later life.

It is not fair to change the law to make a marriage in childhood because someone with radical idea cannot prevent his daughter having sex before marriage. Some People are obsessed with virginity and sex. It will be no longer an issue; the compatibility to live together is prime matter.

What does the science say about underage marriage?

Even though a woman get her first period at 13 [Menarche], their reproductive organs are not developed enough to give a healthy birth. In low- and middle-income countries, babies born to mothers under 20 years of age face a 50% higher risk of being still born or dying in the first few weeks versus those born to mothers aged 20-29. The younger the mother, the greater the risk to the baby. Newborns born to adolescent mothers are also more likely to have low birth weight, with the risk of long-term effects. The disadvantage of teenage pregnancy is huge and common. It is not just exceptional cases.

Is the law against Islamic values?

The Islam does not mandate a woman to marry before eighteen. In ancient time, it was allowed. It is not haram to marry after eighteen.  So the law is, not at all, against Islam. No one should manipulate the holy book for their radical ideology.

For example, Smoking is not prohibited in Islam. Smokers quit smoking because it is not good for health and causes diseases. Will you fight with them to continue smoking? Similarly, Islam has allowed underage marriage, but now socially and medically it is not healthy. We need to move on.

Why is it 18?  Do we need individual assessment?

In order to be in a family life and have a child, people need maturity and stability. How do we assess this? We cannot make an IQ test for fitness to marriage. We need to choose an age when most of young people have gained maturity; therefore we choose the common age as eighteen. It does not mean a 16 year old is not matured or 22 years old is definitely matured. We do not have the manpower to assess individual cases for fitness to marriage and there is no need for that.  Eighteen is reasonable age of maturity and give time to complete education. In the future, if most of them get maturity at sixteen, we may consider 16 as legal age, but at the moment all accept eighteen as optimal.

If two sixteen years olds have sex between them with consent, it is acceptable. If one fifteen and one nineteen year old have sex it is not acceptable by law. Apart from legal issue, there is no much difference in those scenarios. The need of law is to prevent a 90 year old having sex with 9 years old. For this reason, we must choose a sensible age border to differentiate minors and majors.

Use of Bad examples for justifying ideology

Some women who are well educated may not have successful family life; you should not be taking that bad example to talk about need of education. Indeed, you need to talk about what are the advantages of education. Portraying some bad example to justify your ill ideology is not fair argument.

“When a woman has scholarly inclinations, there is usually something wrong with her sexuality” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This philosopher has lived in 18th century; I am not surprised to get this ideology from him. There are lot of people have talked about woman’s rights, I wish everyone reads about them.

Abuse will happen even if they marry after 18

Of course, there will be abuses even if they get married after eighteen. An adult may tolerate the suffering and may rebel the abuse. But we should not let our children to go through this. Child does not have ability resist or reveal the suffering. We do not want our child to suffer in a hidden hell. We need to teach our kids the rights and skills for survival of life before marrying to someone. Your primitive nauseating ideologies give strength to honor killing of own kids inhumanly.

Statistically, High incidents of abuses and violence are in western world

Most of the non-western women even do not realize that they are being abused. Many assume it as a normal. There is no system of resisting or rebelling domestic violence. They put up with it and suffer life long. The leaders and men do not want the women to be educated in order to prevent resistance.

In western world, statistics shows high abuse and violence rate because all of them are exposed and reported. The countries, which have minimum age for marriage, have democracy. Women fight back from abuse and violence. They choose a decent life instead of hell. In Islamic countries, none of them are exposed or reported. It is easy to find five men with similar thoughts to accuse a woman for adultery if she rebels. The world will change soon; education will open the eyes of women. Men can no longer abuse women. 

I do not have to present how workers are sexually abused in Middle East countries. I do not have to explain how human rights are violated in Middle East.

You need to be proud of living in a secular country at least you could express your view freely even though it is extremism.

Are majority of population are ignorant? Or the article portrays extremism?

“And in the event the government goes ahead with making changes before having proper consultations with representatives of all concerned Muslim and Islamic religious organizations, I fear the inevitability of extremist forces amongst the Muslim population declaring a semi-war on the government.” By Muhammed Fazl

Majority of population are not ignorant, they are educated and have common sense to understand the norms. Only radical extremist are ignoring the fact that they are living in delusional world.  Islam is a religion of peace, it is bizarre to threaten that extremist will terrorize if you don’t make them happy. It should be condemned, to spread hatred and extremism in the name of Islam.

Using the religion, as tool to suppress women will no longer work. Most of the women are educated now. The world is changing. Only you are the one stuck to caliphate customs and deluded with the assumption of others are ignorant.

Underage marriage and pedophilia

If you legalize underage marriage, uncles and granddads will evilly abuse a 9-year-old girl. Will you allow your 9-year-old daughter to marry a fifty year old? I will not be surprised if you say yes. This is happening in some countries. A nine year old do not have a choice to not to oppose the parents and go for it, but when they turn mature, definitely they will hate the old man and the parents. Would you like to see this in our country? Please do not spoil the childhood of a young people. Please let them know the world, let them learn; let them choose what they want once they are mature.   Pedophilia is a crime and it is a mental illness. Whoever believes it is acceptable should get help from a psychiatrist.

Portraying Buddhist monk as pedophiles

In Ancient time, a prophet married to underage girl according to the norm of material time. It is understandable to public. It does not cause any damage to the image of Islam. The modern world is different, we have learnt a lot; we need to change our society for our better future of our children.  It is stupidity to support for underage marriages because one of the prophets married to a child centuries ago. It will only damage the Islamic reputation if you fight for unnecessary primitive cultures.

Portraying as most of the monks are pedophile is toxic and shows your level of extremism.  The statement is absolute nonsense and hurt believers of Buddhism. I am surprised to see such article on Colombo telegraph.  Considering ISIS, if someone generalizes all the Muslims as terrorist, how would you feel?  Your statement can only increase the racial tension and anti-Muslim views.  As a responsible activist, you should write something to bring the unity and to campaign good Islamic values to others.

Does it Represent majority Muslim males mentality?

If Colombo Telegraph does not write this phrase of “this article represents majority of Muslim Males” it will be taken as an individual opinion. This phrase insult whole Muslim males and spread hatreds.

The Author respects and accepts all the religious views as longs they are legal and moral.


To read the ongoing discussion on proposed amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) click here

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Latest comments

  • 4
    3

    “Every country has their own law, it is important to respect and obey them”, if not, you know what happened to us in Nandhikadal (sort of writing style)

    • 4
      6

      He seems and sounds an ex ‘podiyan”

  • 8
    2

    This writer reminds me of old and rude school teachers those days with his writing style and choice of words (even CAPs uses.)

    • 11
      2

      The guy has presented his argument reasonably and well.

    • 3
      5

      Claims to be an MD but can hardly write a single paragraph without a grammar or a spelling mistake. Even a Word Spell check could have removed some of the odious mistakes.

      • 2
        1

        Ruwan–or scared to comment on original name?
        if you do not have point to argue, just attack the person personally. A good trick……
        What is your problem? Do you need a child for sex?

        • 0
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          Sisara,

          What is wrong in Ruwan said? He complains the quality of the content, on which he spent his time – If he doesn’t do this, the author will come back with another crappy product, or will improve or rethink quality before publishing.

          Because of people like you, everything from piece of bread to furniture, we Sri Lankans have to settle and get used on sub-standard produce and compromise on quality.

          Are you a dealer or a pimp for pedophilia? (Because you specifically asked if Ruwan has problem in that area)

      • 0
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
    1

    Bruce Tamilson, MD

    RE: A Response To “The need to legalize Under Age Marriage”

    1. “A country’s secular law comes first and it is good for the country. If someone does not agree this should go and fight for non-Muslims rights in Saudi Arabia.”

    Yes.

    2. “Are west and Sri Lanka persistently attacking Islamic values?”

    This where there is so much confusion and ignorance.

    When the Inquisition and the Catholic church attacked, punished and burned Astronomers, was it Christianity? No. That is Catholic , Papal , hegemony.

    Similarly when the Wahhabis, Salafis, Tauhidis , ISIS, and their clones act and perform in a certain ways, is that Islam? No. That is Satanic, , Iblisic, Devilish, Wahhabi, Salafism, of the Saudi Wahhabi infected,Satanism.

    References:

    Scholar from al-Azhar: Wahhabism is a Satanic Faith, the Horn of the Devil that Muhammad Predicted

    Published on Jun 2, 2013
    Yusri Rushdi al-Sayyid Jabr al-Husni, a Sunni Muslim religious scholar from the world’s oldest and most prestigious Islamic school, the Honorable al-Azhar, has stated that Wahhabis who are also known by other names such as Salafis, Najdis, and Horners, are in fact the Horn of the Devil, a term used by the prophet Muhammad in reference to a satanic faith that shall come out of Najd (Saudi Arabia).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufxTUFapy1w&t=19s

    .

  • 0
    5

    Sinhala Lanka is a theocratic state. Ancient religious sanctions should dictate how we conduct our social intercourse.

  • 6
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    Mr. Tamilson,

    CT is a unique family where most of members love to hide behind keyboards and fight each other using filthy racist language.

    The beauty is, it is still a family where each love one another and keep coming to fight again and again. What is good about it is, it creates awareness and makes people do a lots of Googling and research helping self development in a way.

    Once browser is closed or out of CT URL, nothing is left in the minds. You think CT gets good traffic for reading articles or comment more?

    Come on, racism is SL’s unofficial most loved game :)

  • 1
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    Portraying as most of the monks are pedophile is toxic and shows your level of extremism. The statement is absolute nonsense and hurt believers of Buddhism.

    There is an impunity on child rights in SL,
    Even a single abuse is an abuse, There is no lawfull mechanism to monitor young monks, They are in the mercy of the adult monks.

    This abhorrent practice of robing children has to be stopped!

    Why does not someone file a public interest petition in Supreme court?

  • 8
    2

    This article has good points as well as a few of factual errors. The author should have done some homework before starting to write:

    “Two or three decade ago, the contraception did not exist”
    “Islam allows a man to marry seven wives”
    “it is Saudi-Arabia, which force others to wear scarf” (Jeddah, Dammam are cities, for example, it’s not forced)

  • 2
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    1) Regarding the accusation that the Prophet married a minor:
    There is much information on the internet about this. However there are 2 very prominent versions of the traditions and laws, from Sunni and Shia sources. I do not wish to open the Pandora’s box between these 2 warring groups, but I found it noteworthy that the Shia versions are far more respectful towards Mohamed and his family.
    Furthermore Shia don’t state stuff which enable the Islam-haters to attack Mohamed, notably the age of his wife at marriage.
    Although the Sunnis stick dogmatically to the version his wife was a minor at marriage, the Shia have quoted many Sunni historians to prove the opposite, e.g.
    Muslim authors who calculate Aisha’s age based on the more detailed information available about her sister Asma, estimate that she was between seventeen and nineteen at the time of her marriage.
    Muhammad Niknam Arabshahi, an Iranian Islamic scholar and historian, has considered six different approaches to determining Aisha’a age and concluded that she was engaged in her late teens.
    Another example:
    Barlas, Asma (2012). “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an. University of Texas Press. p. 126. On the other hand, however, Muslims who calculate ‘Ayesha’s age based on details of her sister Asma’s age, about whom more is known, as well as on details of the Hijra (the Prophet’s migration from Mecca to Madina), maintain that she was over thirteen and perhaps between seventeen and nineteen when she got married. Such views cohere with those Ahadith that claim that at her marriage Ayesha had “good knowledge of Ancient Arabic poetry and genealogy” and “pronounced the fundamental rules of Arabic Islamic ethics”.

  • 2
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    2) It seems to me that Muslim men are charging in blindly to defend a practice which they attribute to their Prophet, thus leaving them (and their Prophet) vulnerable to attack from all sides, especially the haters of Islam and Muslims.
    Perhaps Muslims should start thinking more logically and rationally, and examine the sources of their information. The Muslims believe that the Koran is the Word of God to the letter. The interpretation of this Word is supposed to be in the Six Authentic Books of Narrations.
    However they say there are very weak narrations and very strong narrations, some even opposing the Koran. If that is the case, I fail to understand how these Books are called Authentic. And of course there are the Shia narrations that totally contradict the Sunni versions.
    In fact on further analysis, one finds that theologians in the recent past have discarded one of these authentic books and replaced it with another. The reason behind this, according to the Shias, is that the original one was more in line with the Shia narrations, hence not suitable for the Wahabis.
    When I inquired from my well educated Sunni friends as to why they do not compare their narrations with the Shia narrations, the answer is that they fear their faith being corrupted.
    Of course to be fair this is to be seen in other faiths too.
    Why don’t these Muslims read up on both versions and use their logic and reasoning to verify if what they are following is correct. After all one of these traditions says: “Go seek knowledge, even unto China”. China was a non-Muslim country even then.

  • 2
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    3) Regarding marriageable age starting at the onset of puberty:
    One wonders if the myriad stories of the Prophets child bride were fabricated to give Aisha a very prominent place in the society as the favourite wife, so as to back up the caliphate of her father Abu Bakr, which was being challenged by Ali.
    Around the time these religions were revealed, the volume of knowledge an average man or woman had to study was small. Hence the woman for instance could have finished her studies at the onset of puberty.
    Nowadays since the volume of knowledge is so much more, it is necessary for a man or woman to study at least until 18 to achieve this status, when they can decide for themselves whether to pursue studies further, or marry and have children.
    Of course there are minimal exceptions to all such man made rules, but if the state makes a rule that the minimum age for marriage should be 18 so as to avoid any abuse, is it not incumbent on the citizens to accept this and abide by it?

  • 1
    0

    Do not shoot down the messenger………………
    lets take the salient point to discuss or be critical.

    • 0
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      Modern version could be “ignore the messenger if the message is misleading”.

      Don’t we shut down or go for legal actions with the media outlets?

  • 2
    0

    I propose that we also include topics like

    (1) The use women in terrorism, especially, using women as suicide bombers.

    (2) The nexus between chicken curry and terrorism.

    • 0
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      this fellow has written about prabahiran’s errors too.

      • 0
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        His so called errors of Prabha was a kin to praising him. If that is the best a tamil could come up with as a critique of Prabha , it shows the level a Tamil can engage in introspection!

      • 0
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        He indirectly praised him, if you read a few times. Then he called him Mr. Pra…

        Why is he taking Sinhalese n Muslims only as samples in his idiotic piece of writing?

  • 3
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    “People like to follow western values, because they do not stick with Stone Age ideas”

    Is it so?
    People have been pushed into Western values, then and now, not by choice.
    What are the values that the “West” has to offer? Wars of mass destruction? Ruthless exploitation of the Third World? Treating the Third World like a dumping ground for its surplus production? Imposing regime changes?
    I am afraid that many of us do stick to various ‘Stone Age ideas’ by choice.

    “The Author respects and accepts all the religious views as longs they are legal and moral.”
    Good to hear that; but it would have been more credible without the page-long text preceding it.
    Can we know from the Author what are universally moral or legal!

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